When I decided to go off and join the world of SQL Server consultants, I wrote a blog post. Eleven years ago I wrote this post. It was an urge to myself, and a call to others. It’s one of my favorite two blog posts I’ve ever written. That’s germane to the topic here. In it, I spoke about chasing your dreams. And reminded me that they don’t come chasing us.
I eventually went from a full-time DBA to a consultant to a business “partner” to an independent consultant to the CEO of a company providing remote high-end, white-glove remote DBA services and tuning/migrations/cloud SQL Server consulting to people.
I realized that I have weaknesses and would be better as part of a team. A team of high-caliber SQL Server geeks with many years of experience in the field. So I became we. And we grew. First, through a support analyst, I knew to help with the basics and onboardings. Then I somehow convinced Jack Corbett to join the company. Then we convinced Joe Fleming to join us. And since we’ve grown to a sizable team. Great people. With a camaraderie that makes me smile wide. And some bitter sarcasm (usually directed at me (usually in fun) ) – and lots of dad jokes.
I love this team. And we put them first. I’ve learned a LOT about the culture by being a part of the Straight Path culture. But I love the team so much that I wanted to have a safe environment for any member of the team to chase their dreams, just like I did. With our generous (one of our values) support, enthusiastic cheerleading, and love.
Well. Damn it. It happened. Another blog post I wrote (my other favorite blog post.. Weird that neither of my favorite posts has anything to do with SQL Server…) is about Farm Fences – and how sometimes people think they are stuck or trapped where they are – but usually all they have to do is try a gate, jump, over on a really dry snow day – just walk through the fence. I called it, simply You are Free. One of the Straight Path flock has realized two things:
- They are free.
- They have dreams. And if they don’t chase those dreams, they’ll always wonder.
Announcing Departure: Joe Fleming
That’s right. And I knew this going into it also with Joe – we talked about an interest in someday maybe being an independent consultant and building his own thing when I interviewed him. So Joe is using his freedom and heading for the highway.
- A patient man.
- A replication guru (he may not want me announcing that.)
- A really smart guy.
- A friend.
- An advisor.
- A leader.
- An HA/DR SME.
- Really good with AWS.
- An excellent SQL Serve tuner.
- A really important part of our little Straight Path family.
And as he’s leaving into the big bad world his Straight Path family is super happy for him. And, sure, a little sad for us. You should follow his LinkedIn and see his announcements about his new company and his new adventures. If you don’t want to work with us, you can’t go wrong in working with Joe. In fact, we’re not letting him go that easy:
- Joe’s last day of full-time life with us won’t be until 3/31
- We still have Joe as a 1099 for at least 3 months after that for quite a lot of hours – and probably forever. (One day I’ll write some posts about starting a consultancy, and the importance of having an “Anchor Client” when you make the jump. It’s an honor to be Joe’s anchor client.)
- We’re going to constantly reevaluate this and see if we have hours for him and he has time for us. I trust we’ll always have some hours for him and he’ll have some hours for us.
I forget the cartoon or movie. But think slapstick comedy. With someone leaving. And everyone saying bye. But then the person walks away at a snail’s pace. I’m glad that’s the exit style we’re all choosing.
Joe – it’s been an amazing nearly four years watching your SQL Server skills increase, confidence grow (well, let’s be honest, you’re a pretty confident guy already 😉 ), learning that I’m not the only one with terrible jokes – and watching you take care of our clients displaying all of our values with them – Integrity, Generosity, Ownership Mentality, and Humility. You contributed many ideas to us. You helped me lead myself and the company. You even got into the mess of my brain and helped distill some ideas on this journey. THANK YOU. And good luck. And thanks for the support on your way out the door. The phrase, “it’s hard to miss you if you don’t leave” comes to mind. But you know I say it with a smile and my charming (?) New England sarcasm.